A Quick Introduction to Banksy
If you have spent any time in the art world, you are familiar with Banksy. For the rest of the world, they may have heard people refer to him with awe and wonder, but they are still unsure who this popular artist is or why his work even matters. To help you not look foolish the next time Banksy comes up in conversation, here’s a quick guide.
Who Is He?
Banksy is an anonymous street graffiti artist who began doing graffiti in Bristol and London in the 1990’s. Part of his allure is his refusal to reveal himself to the public. His anonymity is part of his appeal as it suggests he is not creating art for fame, but for a purpose. Plus, graffiti is still considered a crime, so he could be prosecuted if identified. His politically charged artwork and mass appeal even landed him on Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people list in 2010.
What Does He Do?
Banksy is most known for his stencil style graffiti, but he is also a painter and a filmmaker. His stenciled graffiti most often offers political and social commentary. These statement art pieces capture the attention of the city where they appear and speak without any words.
Additionally, Banksy made waves with his documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, which garnered him an Oscar nomination. He has also self-published books featuring his artwork.
Where Can You See His Work?
While several celebrities love, own, or have commissioned Banksy, his artwork is designed for public viewing painted on ordinary walls on everyday streets. If you take a street art tour in London, it is likely you will see some of Banksy’ famous works. You may have even passed one without realizing it. He has graffiti bombed cities around the world including New York City, Paris, Vienna, Bethlehem, and Detroit.